As an artist, I feel that combining community, education and performance can be an immensely gratifying and meaningful experience. The week I spent giving workshops and performing with music students through Ridgeway Arts, under the direction of Dr. Jeff Denson, served as a strong affirmation of that.
Jeff Denson, through Ridgeway Arts, arranged for workshops and concerts tailored to each group of students. The classical choruses of Napa Valley High school and the Del Mar High School got to experiment with vocal improvisation for the first time, and perform in concert on the very same day for their friends, family and local community. The students of the California Jazz Conservatory performed my original compositions in several workshops and high profile concerts. Jeff and myself coached the young musicians, giving them professional level insight into today’s Jazz and improvised music world. Jeff also arranged for a vocal workshop that was open to the public, in which vocalists from the community in all levels and ages participated ad created music together. These meaningful educational opportunities are imperative for the creation of a successful artistic community.
In addition to programming a full week of educational and artistic events, Ridgeway Arts an excellent team of people to properly promote and organize their initiatives. The events were publicized in local newspapers and radio, raising interest in the local communities we visited. Andrew Lion, an insightful and thorough interviewer, spoke with me for Ridgeway Art’s own podcast, “On the Scene SF/O”.
Organizations such as Ridgeway Arts are absolutely essential to building a thriving artistic community where musicians, students and audiences can all support each other. Dr. Jeff Denson is running Ridgeway Arts with an immense sense of commitment, integrity and expertise.
I urge musicians, students and the community to participate and support Ridgeway Arts’ initiatives in the Bay Area and beyond. I look forward to see Ridgeway Arts and the Bay Area music world grow and thrive!
– Tammy Scheffer